By Jeremy Jacobs - 05/19/07 11:52 AM EDT
President Bush Saturday, facing criticism from conservatives in his own party, praised the immigration compromise that his administration reached with senators from both parties this week.
“This legislation includes all the elements required for comprehensive immigration reform,” Bush said. He lauded the legislation for mandating increased border security, a worker verification protocol, a temporary work program and a process to “resolve the status of millions of illegal immigrants who are here already, without animosity and without amnesty.”
Addressing the major criticism conservative lawmakers have leveled against the legislation, Bush stressed that the legislation would not provide amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S.
Illegal immigrants, the president said, would have to satisfy numerous requirements, including paying a fine, learning English, holding a job and passing a citizenship test before becoming eligible for citizenship.
But these stipulations failed to satisfy some of the conservative members of the president’s party. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) called the legislation an “amnesty plan” that “will be a slap in the face to hard working Americans and those who have come here to work legally.”
Tancredo, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, also took swipe at first-tier Republican candidate Sen. John McCainJohn McCainIs Georgia turning blue? High anxiety for GOP Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support MORE (R-Ariz.), who helped draft the legislation.
“Sen. McCain and his allies seem to think that they can dupe the American public into accepting a blanket amnesty if they just call it ‘comprehensive’ or ‘earned legalization’ or ‘regularization,’” Tancredo said. “Unfortunately for them, however, the American people know amnesty when they see it.”